Microsoft LAPS – The LDAP server is unavailable.

If you haven’t used Microsoft LAPS, it’s a neat feature that helps enhance domain security by setting a randomized password for each local administrator account on each domain computer/server. Gone are the days of using one password for local admin access across hundreds or thousands of endpoints.

Microsoft LAPS is not new and has been around for a few years but is a must for a properly secured domain environment. The lack of randomized local admin passwords is often an item detected on internal penetration tests.

Today, I encountered an error that I haven’t seen before with a Microsoft LAPS deployment. I spent the better half of the afternoon trying to figure out why extending the domain schema wasn’t working.

I’ve been following this great Microsoft technet article on deploying LAPS and while trying to extend the schema, I was getting the following error:

I have confirmed that my management machine didn’t have windows firewall enabled, domain replication was functional and LDP.exe would connect to the schema master at the required IP:389.

Everything checked out. One thing I didn’t review yet was Event Viewer.

I remember in College, some of our professors would tell us that Event Viewer will be one of the most powerful tools that we will use, if we choose to use it.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in my career searching through logs, exporting and reviewing problems. Event viewer has been an extremely valuable tool and I’ve worked with other team members to educate and help them learn to use Event Viewer to assist their troubleshooting methods.

Anyways, I launched event viewer on my management station that has LAPS installed and where the Schema is attempting to be extended from. Looking under Windows Logs –> Applications, I noticed a bunch of Information events that reference PowerShell, TCP port 389 and my host IP going to a DC.

This environment is utilizing Carbon Black for its endpoint protection and it slipped my mind when I was initially installing this.

I was able to work with our security team to allow traffic from this endpoint and to the other DCs so that the schema extension can occur.

After a bit of waiting, I was given the green light and tried once more.

Voila, it worked.

I wanted to share this because after searching around, I saw references to firewalls and blocking but I can’t recall reading anything about endpoint protection/AV causing this.

Thanks for reading and hopefully this helps somebody in the future.